Bobsledding: What a Great Idea for a Movie

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Outside magazine, October 1994

Bobsledding: What a Great Idea for a Movie
By Todd Balf (with Greg Child and Dan Dickison)

The U.S. bobsled team can’t seem to buy a win. First, they bombed at the Olympics in Lillehammer. Then, on a novel summer tour, they got their runners handed to them by those lovable stars, the Jamaican Bobsled Team. The U.S./Jamaica Challenge, a five-city exhibition sprint series played out on specially designed 40-meter tracks sans snow and ice, was actually part of an exotic
U.S. team recruiting venture called the 1994 BurliMan Bobsled Push Tour. The race consisted of pushing a sled for about 35 meters and hopping in for a five-meter glide, with the underlying aim of spiriting out a few good pushers. “We were quite successful,” says Terry Kent, a spokesperson for the squad. “We had a football player in San Antonio who set a near-record score on our
standard strength and speed test.” Of course, others weren’t so hot. “There were some terrific face-plants when they tried to jump into the sled at the finish line,” says Kent. As for the elite guys, the Jamaican two-man team of Wayne Thomas and Winston Watt set a series record at Salt Lake City on July 25, covering the 35 meters in 4.43 seconds.

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